For one company, a paywall was definitely not the answer.
The Dallas Morning News has announced it will do away with its paywall that it has had since 2011. The numbers just weren’t there, according to an article on the company’s site.
Instead, the Dallas Morning News will offer a new website for premium customers. The free and pay version will offer the same content, but the paid customers will get enhanced features, the article stated.
Jason Dyer, chief marketing officer for The News, acknowledged that the new site is a test to see if people will pay for a more visual experience. The price for the premium site starts at $11.96 a month but is included in the price of a print subscription.
As paywalls go up, it will be interesting to see how many how start coming down. This news isn’t surprising because most newspapers have not had success with a paywall (see the post Joanna Cabot cited earlier by Mathew Ingram from paidContent with a nifty graph).
People are willing to pay for apps and subscriptions that entertain them. So, it’s not a shock that Netflix leads the way in subscription-based services with 29 million customers. News organizations such as The Dallas Morning News or other Gannett papers just aren’t offering compelling enough content. They have offered content that many people can find in other places on the web and if the story is so local, it’s not picked up by national outlets, there is usually a free limit that a reader can utilize.
By going with a premium site, The Dallas Morning News is going with the next experiment to monetize news. The premium site will offer more features, more personalization as well as fewer ads.